Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

Press Release

BBC Radio 4 Extra packs a punch with cracking new comedy

On Saturday 2 April the brand spanking new BBC Radio 4 Extra launches and with it comes a raft of jovial gems to add to the previous Radio 7 digital network's bustling schedule. This includes welcoming the comedians Rufus Hound, Arthur Smith and Andi Osho to Radio 4's sister digital station.

On becoming part of the Radio 4 Extra fold, Rufus Hound says: "Everyone knows that Extra is a word inherently linked with good; extra portions, extra good, extra marital affair. Wherever the word Extra's heading, you want to follow. So when I was told there was going to be a Radio 4 Extra, I wanted in."

Rufus Hound joins as the presenter of What's So Funny? – a half-hour weekly whizz through the world of comedy on Friday, 10.00-10.30am, from Friday 8 April.

In a new format of magazine show solely devoted to all things comedy, Rufus will be joined by guests with news, reviews and previews of what's happening in the land of laughter this week.

On his new show, Rufus says: "There are so many programmes that give a weekly round-up of everything in the world of comedy; it's hard to know how we'll really differentiate ourselves. Well, let me ask you this question – when was the last time you heard news about Jimmy Carr being read by a man who can bench press almost 100 kilograms? Well, tell your future self to stop worrying, I'm on my way."

Radio 4 Extra's Comedy Club runs six nights a week from 10.00pm to 12midnight and features contemporary comedy, along with comic guests popping in for good measure.

Starting Sunday 3 April, the late evening show will be introduced by various comedians, who will inject their own unique take on proceedings.

The brand new line-up is as follows: Andi Osho will present Sunday nights, Arthur Smith will host on Monday to Thursday and there will be a rolling line-up of guest presenters every Friday.

On joining Radio 4 Extra and the Comedy Club, Arthur Smith says: "Having worked a lot on Radio 4 it seems only right to do Radio 4 Extra. I shall enjoy listening to some prime radio comedy, some of which I know and some of which I'm looking forward to hearing for the first time (and maybe nicking the best jokes from). I shall also enjoy catching up with fellow comics and wearing some silly hats."

Andi Osho will also host Sneaky Peeks which does what it says on the tin... it gives the Radio 4 Extra audience a sneaky peek at the best of Radio 4 Extra and Radio 4 comedy for the following week.

On Saturday 2 April, 1.15-1.30pm, there will be a one-off special for the Radio 4 Extra launch day. The weekly show will then be broadcast within Friday's edition of The 4 O'Clock Show and repeated individually every Saturday, 1.15-1.30pm.

On joining Radio 4 Extra, Andi Osho says: "I'm delighted to be joining the Radio 4 Extra team. I want nothing more than being on in the background when people are doing stuff... like a really smiley stalker."

These new series are additions to other Radio 4 Extra comedy innovations:

  • The Now Show and The News Quiz Extra – a 45-minute extended version of the weekly Radio 4 programme every Friday, 10.00-10.45pm. The programme will also include some clips and songs from the archives, exclusive behind-the-scenes material and interviews and favourite show regulars.
  • Comedy First – a new strand whereby Radio 4 Extra listeners hear premieres of new comedy series before transferring to BBC Radio 4 – kicking off with the third series of Arthur Smith's Balham Bash on Tuesday 5 April, 10.00-10.30am.

Alongside these comic innovations for all those comedy lovers out there Radio 4 Extra will continue Radio 7 tried and tested favourites:

  • Classic Comedy every day at 12midday and 7pm to keep those ribs tickled as listeners are accustomed.
  • Not forgetting the ongoing original commissions featuring the best of new comedy talent, such as the ever popular Newsjack which returns in the summer.

From 2 April 2011, Radio 7 becomes Radio 4 Extra. While at heart it remains an archive network of classic comedy, drama and family entertainment, Radio 4 Extra will feature extensions of some well loved Radio 4 programmes and introduces new gems for radio lovers to enjoy.

Notes to Editors

The first week of new comedy of BBC Radio 4 Extra looks as follows:

  • Sneaky Peeks presented by Andi Osho – Saturday 2 April – 1.15-1.30pm
  • Comedy Club presented by Andi Osho – Sunday 3 April – 10.00pm-12midnight
  • Comedy Club presented by Arthur Smith – Monday 4 to Thursday 7 April – 10.00pm-12midnight
  • Comedy First – Arthur Smith's Balham Bash – Tuesday 5 April – 10.00-10.30am
  • What's So Funny? Presented by Rufus Hound – Friday 8 April – 10.00-10.30am
  • Comedy Club presenter TBC – Friday 8 April – 10.00pm-12midnight
  • The Now Show Extra with High Dennis and Steve Punt – Friday 8 April – 10.00-10.45pm (included within The Comedy Club)


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